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How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? #5113814 05/23/19 05:24 PM
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PotatoFarmer77w Offline OP
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Hi all,

Just went for a car wash today after a long road trip. Noticed that some part of the front radiator is filled with bugs and it's almost impossible to remove. How can you prevent it from happening in the first place? I know there's something like a "rad guard" out there on the market but since my vehicle is relatively new they haven't made one for it yet.

Note: vehicle is a 16 Mazda 3

Thanks for any helps smile


1995 Chevrolet K1500 5.7 v8
2007 Ford Ranger 2.3 I4
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113820 05/23/19 05:29 PM
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bullwinkle Offline
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Plastic screen has worked for me, just take it off, replace it, & throw it away when it gets clogged. Zip ties hold it on pretty well.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113836 05/23/19 05:39 PM
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edwardh1 Offline
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or harware cloth from hardware store,
it will not burn


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113843 05/23/19 05:49 PM
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E150GT Offline
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Sometime this summer I plan to take the bumper cover off my car and clean the condenser. I watched an Eric the car guy video and it showed cleaning the condenser yielded lower pressures in the AC system.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
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Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113863 05/23/19 06:12 PM
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CR94 Offline
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Some vehicles have much larger openings in the grill than others, the larger ones being ridiculously large.

In previous cars, I installed window screening between grill and radiator. In this one I haven't, but did put plastic gutter screening (from Lowe's) in the grill. It's cheap, durable, doesn't rattle or mar surfaces as hardware cloth would, and is not horribly conspicuous. The openings are about a quarter of an inch squares. That should at least keep birds, large insects, and big rocks out of the radiator, condenser, and the other expensive heat exchanger.

Last edited by CR94; 05/23/19 06:14 PM.

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Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113888 05/23/19 06:26 PM
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In the old days people power wash their window AC with caustic soda solution, or other similar stuff.

If you have enough time you can take off the front bumper / support / radiator fan, and power wash it, scrub it with a wire brush, etc.

Or just leave it alone.


"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: CR94] #5113944 05/23/19 07:19 PM
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Garak Offline
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Originally Posted by CR94
In previous cars, I installed window screening between grill and radiator.

Yes, and that's still effective when someone wants to do so. I liked the days when there were readily available screen inserts and/or bras for cars to help out.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113954 05/23/19 07:29 PM
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edwardh1 Offline
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my ac condensers seem damaged more on passenger side, maybe more road trash there


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5113957 05/23/19 07:30 PM
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For cars with open grilles I use 1/4 inch hardware cloth so rocks can't take out the condenser.

Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114025 05/23/19 08:42 PM
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Aftermarket grill inserts should be available for your car and work well, but a bit pricey. A roll of window mesh screen works well too and is cheap, just replace when it's full of bugs.
I have grill inserts on the Impala and the Honda, and window mesh behind the grill of the Buick.


'18 Impala
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Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114041 05/23/19 08:57 PM
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earlyre Offline
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my brother cut out inserts from silver gutter mesh for his Volt, and attached with zip ties. better part of 2 years, still holding up just fine.


Mine:
13 Ford C-MAX hybrid: Havoline syn 5w20,& Napa Gold 1348
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114362 05/24/19 08:28 AM
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Be careful with the powerwash on the rad fins. A coworker blew the foil like fins out of his rad that way. I don't know how close he got with the nozzle yet it was too close.

Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: PotatoFarmer77w] #5114459 05/24/19 10:18 AM
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DoubleWasp Offline
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Best way to clean them out is with mild degreaser, a brush, and patience. Pressure washer has no business being used on heat exchangers.


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Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: CR94] #5114488 05/24/19 10:32 AM
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WyrTwister Offline
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Originally Posted by CR94
Some vehicles have much larger openings in the grill than others, the larger ones being ridiculously large.

In previous cars, I installed window screening between grill and radiator. In this one I haven't, but did put plastic gutter screening (from Lowe's) in the grill. It's cheap, durable, doesn't rattle or mar surfaces as hardware cloth would, and is not horribly conspicuous. The openings are about a quarter of an inch squares. That should at least keep birds, large insects, and big rocks out of the radiator, condenser, and the other expensive heat exchanger.


Window screen would be my thought .


Wyr
God bless
Re: How can you prevent radiator/AC condenser fill up with bugs and rock chips? [Re: DoubleWasp] #5114548 05/24/19 11:31 AM
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pandus13 Offline
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Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Best way to clean them out is with mild degreaser, a brush, and patience. Pressure washer has no business being used on heat exchangers.

Would peroxide work as a pre-wash to soften the bugs remains?


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